Spellar launches plans to strengthen road traffic laws

Criminal Justice Minister John Spellar has launched a public consultation on new proposals to strengthen road traffic provisions in Northern Ireland.

Announcing the proposals Mr Spellar said the measures represented important new plans to strengthen the powers of police in road traffic cases across the province.

“The proposals include powers to take blood samples from suspected drunk drivers, powers to stop and arrest, additional fixed penalties and powers to seize vehicles being driven whilst uninsured,” the Minister said. “Also incorporated are more streamlined arrangements for the funding of automatic number plate recognition schemes.

The key features of the road traffic proposals are:
  • Powers for registered healthcare professionals to take blood from a suspected drunk driver and for medical practitioners to take blood from unconscious drivers.
  • Power of arrest for failing to stop when required to do so by a police constable in uniform or following an accident causing personal injury.
  • DVTA given power to stop cars for testing.
  • Police powers to seize a vehicle detected whilst being used by an uninsured driver.
  • Fixed penalties for driving without insurance, not displaying a vehicle excise license and failure to supply details necessary to identify an offending driver.
Mr Spellar concluded by saying that the new measures were evidence of the Government’s commitment to both enhance the ability of the police to deal with road traffic offences and to increase public confidence in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.


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